Guide to Recover Data from Laptop Hard Drive that Turned to RAW

Learn to recover data from laptop hard drive that turned to RAW using RAW data recovery software on this page. And you can fix RAW drives and get relevant tips.


By Penny / Updated on April 2, 2024

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Can you recover data from RAW hard drives?


Both my and my girlfriend’s old laptops died. I’ve discovered the problematic disk via the Disk Management utility. It’s in RAW format. I was able to get into bootrec.exe, but I wasn’t sure where to go from there. So is it possible to perform RAW data recovery?

       -A user from Tomshardware   

If your internal or external hard drive becomes RAW, its file system might be corrupted or not be recognized by your Windows OS. No file system is also blamed for this issue.

You can find your RAW drive and its file system via Windows File Explorer, but you’re not permitted to access data from your RAW drive via it. In Disk Management, your RAW drive might be in a healthy state with a drive letter.


Since most users only view their drives via File Explorer instead of Disk Management, they might receive the following warning error after double-clicking the RAW partition in File Explorer.


You need to format the disk in drive H: before you can use it. Do you want to format it?

When you see the above warning sign, please remember not to format your RAW drive because disk formatting/initialization can erase everything on your RAW partition and prepares the disk for use. After canceling this process, you will automatically receive this error message: Location is not available. G:\ is not accessible.


If you’re seeking ways to recover data from laptop hard drive that turned to RAW, this article is right for you.

Part 1. How to recover data from laptop hard drive that turned to RAW?

Besides the above factors, bad sectors, partition table damage, and exhausted reserve of the read and write cycles also have an impact on RAW drives.

RAW data recovery is not easy. When it comes to problems regarding how to recover data from laptop hard drive that turned to RAW, the top priority is to recover data from RAW drives. Second, you’re ready to fix RAW drives because any reparations to RAW drives could cause more data loss or reduce the RAW data recovery rate.

Recover data from RAW drives via data recovery software

In this scenario, using professional RAW data recovery software could be your top choice because a third-party tool can effectively prevent users from entering blind spots and increase the chances of the RAW data recovery rate.

Supported by AOMEI Tech, powerful MyRecover embeds an advanced scanning algorithm that aims to help you easily recover deleted & missing files from RAW drives.

Powerful features & friendly design of MyRecover:
  • Powerful features: Recover deleted & lost Word, Excel, PPT, folders, compressed files, photos, songs, videos, audio, websites, and other 200+ file types from HDD, SSD, USB, etc.
  • Easy-to-find: During Quick Scan and Deep Scan, you can quickly locate your desired files by Filename, Path, Date, Size, etc.
  • Convenient: Retain the original Path, Filename, and Format for the deleted files.
  • Excellent compatibility: Support NTFS, FAT32, exFAT, and ReFS file systems and be compatible with Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, or Windows Server computers. 
Download Software Windows 11/10/8/7/Server
Secure Download

Step 1. After launching MyRecover on your Windows, hover the mouse over your RAW drive and click Scan.

Choose the RAW Partition Start Scan

Step 2. Filter your needed data according to Name, Date, Document Type, or Path.

  • Name: Type the filenames of your desired files to narrow the search area.
  • Date modified: Set the date according to your situation (today, yesterday, the last 7/30 days, etc).
  • Size: Filter the file size based on your needs (<128KB, 128KB~1MB, 1MB~ 512MB, etc).

Scanning RAW Drive

Step 3. Go to the Deleted Files/Recycle Bin/Other Missing Files folder and select the files you want. Then click “Recover x files” to begin RAW data recovery.

Choose Files from RAW Partition to Restore

  • Please don’t write new data to the RAW drive for a higher RAW data recovery rate. 
  • After recovery, please remember to save these retrieved files in a new saved path.
  • To recover a large number of deleted or missing files from your hard drives with no effort, consider upgrading MyRecover to the Professional or Technician edition.

Part 2. How to fix RAW drive without losing data?

If you’ve scavenged data from your RAW hard drive, you’re likely to fix RAW drive without losing data.

Fix 1. Convert RAW to NTFS without losing data via Disk Management

If your current file system cannot work with your Windows operating system, you can convert your RAW drive to NTFS using the Windows system utility, Disk Management.

This tool also can help you recover hidden partitions in Windows 7, 8, 10, or 11 PCs.

Step 1. Press “Win + X” to select the “Disk Management” option to open this tool.


Step 2. Right-click on your RAW drive and select the “Change Drive Letter and Paths” option.


Step 3. Select “Add” to assign a new drive letter to this RAW drive.

Step 4. Select the “Assign the following drive letter” option. Please ensure the newly chosen drive letter is different from all the existing drive letters.


Fix 2. Convert RAW to NTFS without losing data via AOMEI Partition Assistant

If you’re unfamiliar with Disk Management, you can seek help from AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard. This free & powerful partition manage software can convert file systems easily.   

Other highlights of AOMEI Partition Assistant: 
Recover deleted & missing NTFS, FAT, EX2, EX3, or Ex4 partitions.
Deal with fixing errors using CHKDSK.exe, disk formatting, improper partition size, partition creation, partition resize, etc.
Perform disk conversion between MBR and GPT, OS migration, etc.   
Support Windows 11, 10, 8.1, 8, 7, Vista, and XP (32/64-bit) computers.
Download Demo Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
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Step 1. After running this free demo on your Windows PC, right-click on your selected RAW disk and select the “Format Partition” option.


Step 2. Select the NTFS file system and click the “OK” button.


Please remember to save these changes by clicking the “Apply” button.

Fix 3. Rebuild partition table via AOMEI Partition Assistant

Since you’ve downloaded AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard, you can reuse this tool to rebuild the partition table if it’s damaged. Please refer to the following steps.

Step 1. After running AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard on your Windows PC, right-click on the selected RAW drive and click the “Rebuild MBR” button.


Step 2. Select your current operating system and click the “OK” button.


Step 3. On the main interface, click Apply > Proceed.


Related Q&A about RAW data recovery & external hard drive data recovery

Wondering how to recover data from laptop hard drive that turned to RAW? Please find feasible fixes from the above content to solve this issue. Besides, there are relevant data recovery tips.

Penny · Editor
Penny works as an editor at AOMEI Technology, while she's a tester and editor for AOMEI Data Recovery Tools. She enjoys helping users with data recovery issues on Windows and iPhones using simple and practical solutions. Outside of work, she has a strong affection for pets, particularly giant pandas.